I'm an isolated mess of a person and not sure how I will get out of it at this age. If you've ever been this isolated or hit rock bottom and made it out, how did you do it, particularly if it happened to you after 35?
posted by katherant to Human Relations (44 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
Last month my serious relationship of 4.5 years ended. I got a therapist, joined meetup groups, went to meetups, have sat alone in bars (awkward), have reached out to the *very* few friends I have. I try to get out every day. I still take walks. I've been doing everything I'm supposed to do, but it's not working. I wake up every day and my first thought is: maybe I should just end it. My life, that is. I'm not kidding. This is the way I wake up every day now. This week it has been especially hard.
I'm in my late 30s, have a dead-end job that barely pays the bills, and I have a lot of debt. I don't feel I have anything to offer anyone sane and smart and funny. Not with my life. Not with my debt. I feel like a fake. I live in a fancy urban neighborhood surrounded by young go-getters and people my age having children and living in $600,000 + historic homes. It's beautiful and walkable and I love it, but lately it just makes me feel more alienated.
Anyway, to top it all off, I really don't fit in--that's no lie. I grew up poor and then ended up in foster care as a teenager. I was very smart and very hated by my foster mother. I quickly picked up the piano, played it in their church (I'm an agnostic more on the atheist side now, go figure), got the star roles in school plays, loved science, wanted to become a doctor after reaching Michael Crichton's Travels, I could have been a lot, but at home I was unloved and put down. In my adult life I've often found myself in similar situations, with all this potential but afraid of the world the same way I was afraid to walk through a room as a teenager because every. single. time my foster mother would find some reason to harass me and put me down. I was damaged and I have spent my life thinking I could rise above it--I really thought this, but here I am at 38 and I realize I haven't. My family? Well, my mom has a very low IQ and my brother has been in and out of prison. What we all have in common is that we're barely getting by most days, but beyond that, we've got nothing in common. Talking to my mom is like talking to a child--not exaggerating. And my brother...yeah. So I don't have family, really.
I find myself fitting in nowhere. It's been that way for a long time and it's worse now because of my age. People have generally found their place and are living it, but I fit in neither with the sort of people I grew up with nor with those who I can actually carry on a conversation with.
Earlier this year I was accepted into a couple of biology master's programs--nothing fancy, but I got in them with the intention of perhaps teaching at the community college level and doing some technical writing on the side. When the breakup happened, I withdrew from the program, appealed the tuition so I don't owe anything, got out. I lost all motivation and now I'm not even sure what I want to do. I think of what it would take for me to get from here to somewhere where I'd actually have something to offer someone compatible with me and I realize it would just take so long I'm not sure there's a point.
I am incredibly isolated. I have only one friend in town to talk to, but he has a girlfriend that naturally takes up his time and I don't want to impose too much. I see him about once a week for an hour or two. The only other person that I can talk to is a married man who wants to do more than talk to me. Yep, that's what I've got. The only person who calls me to check up on me is the married guy. And yes, I know. I know. Thing is, I had to do all the reaching out to the other friend. I have a female friend who lives about 1000 miles away but even getting a chance to talk to her can be a challenge as she has a little one now. I have an acquaintance here and there, all busy. I recently made plans to have coffee with a woman I met at a meetup. I'm trying. I guess what's lacking with a lot of the interactions I have is intimacy and depth. Those things take time. I guess that's what people have with their families when there's nothing else, but I haven't got that.
I work at home and looking for other jobs is so depressing. I don't qualify for much. It's real skills I lack. Have a more or less worthless degree (anthropology from an unremarkable school).
My ex wasn't perfect, had more debt than I do, but he's younger and has better job prospects right now. He was wonderful and yet I pushed him away. I had problems that I just couldn't seem to fix. I still do. I have so many fears and anxiety issues. I probably have PMDD--didn't even know what it was before I started looking up my symptoms. I'm currently trying supplements.
I'm out of place. I'm extremely lonely. I don't know how to do this. Most of the day I really don't have hope. I'm hanging on by a very thin thread. So if you've ever hit some sort of rock bottom like this and gotten out of it, I'd love to hear your story. Thank you.